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Written by Carl 'lowlight' Nelson [03.02.01]
Manufactured by: ZyXEL

Value

The P316 is not in stores just yet.  At least I couldn't find it anywhere I looked, including the ZyXEL Shop Page.

I contacted ZyXEL, and they gave me the MSRP.  The P316 will go for a suggested price of $499.99

A similar product (wireless router) by Umax has a MSRP of $329.95.  We'll be reviewing this one on Monday.

Pricey, yes, but you would not believe how nice it is to have wireless networking around the house! I can't wait to see how the Umax compares (the Umax also comes with a print-server)


Click Here!


The P316 is obviously intended for business buyers, but I think it is great for personal use as well.  If you can afford it, there is nothing better than surfing the net while sitting in a nice comfortable couch watching your favourite team kick some serious ass :)

This is also a godsend for LAN parties as well; if you base a LAN party on a wireless standard, you will never have HUGE tangles of LAN cable everywhere! If everyone has a wireless adapter, all they have to do is turn their PC on, and they are connected! 11 mbps might not be suitable for bigger networks, however.

Like every other ZyXEL product, the P316 comes with some very high quality LAN cables.  If you are used to getting cheap ass LAN cables when you buy a networking product, you will be pleasantly surprised here!  

Virtual Server Setup

What's a Virtual Server? Well, consider the fact that this router completely hides your actual IP address from the internet.  Your IP will be something like 192.168.0.2 (assigned by the router - you can change this setting yourself), but people on the internet will only be able to see the router's IP, which is assigned by the service provider (@Home users will have 24.xx.xx.xx).  This presents a problem for those wanting to run a server - be it a Quake 3 server or an FTP server - from their PC.  Easily remedied though, thanks to the P316's extensive Virtual Server Support...

This is the P316's excellent Virtual Server screen.  Again it is VERY easy to use... Enter the port of the application you want to set up, and you're done! That port will now be open to the public.  

While ZyXEL lists the most common ports, I really would have liked to been able to choose which protocol I am opening (either TCP or UDP - both are internet protocols).  Some applications require a specific protocol, and I believe you are opening both TCP and UDP for the specific port you designate to the router.  This is a very minor gripe though - I have only ever seen one router support this.

Flash Upgrading

Once again, ZyXEL does a good job making Flash upgrading easy for us.  Not great, but good enough.

You have a choice in logging in via a serial connection in TELNET and upgrading there (which is the only thing they suggest if the readme for some odd reason), or simply connecting to the router via FTP and overwriting the ROM files.  Quite simple, but I have seen others do better.  Ideally, we should be able to simple click on a file and it would upload itself.

Next: Security and Conclusion!

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